Mercedes ‘play politics outside, not inside’ the team

Mark Scott


Mercedes boss, Toto Wolff, has said transparency is the key to keeping a team in perfect harmony as he continues to reflect on the Silver Arrows’ success.

Mercedes have absolutely dominated the sport since the start of the turbo hybrid era in 2014, winning every piece of available silverware since then.

They secured a record-breaking seventh consecutive Constructors’ Championship with a one-two finish at Imola and are very close to winning a sixth Drivers’ title with Lewis Hamilton. The other, of course, won by Nico Rosberg in 2016.

And it is the Hamilton v Rosberg battle that threaten to pull Mercedes apart at the seams with the two sides of the garage very much split into two.

But, following Rosberg’s retirement after winning the 2016 title, the arrival of Valtteri Bottas has brought peace to the Silver Arrows.

The dynamics between driver and team is something that Wolff has always been wary of, even in his early days as Mercedes boss.

So much so, he sought the advice of Alain Prost to find out the reasons why his rivalry with Ayrton Senna escalated to the point where it is now remembered as one of fiercest sporting rivalries of all-time.

That has led Wolff to ensure all political games that are played throughout a Formula 1 season remain outside of the team rather than inside.

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“We have always been very transparent with each other,” Wolff said, as quoted by Autosport.

“At the beginning of my stint with Mercedes, I remember a discussion with Alain Prost. I said to him, ‘what went wrong between you and Senna?’

“He said that sometimes, we didn’t know whether we had the support of the team or not. There was always politics involved.

“Now I don’t know if that is true because I was not part of that, and certainly they had a great era.

“But we don’t play politics. We play politics outside, but we don’t play any politics inside. I would never permit it.

“Transparency, being honest with each other, blaming the problem and not the person, and empowering are the values that are of utmost importance to us.

“That’s why it’s a good place, a fun place, but it’s also a pushing place.”

Wolff has also recently applied this philosophy when he said that creating a Lewis Hamilton/Max Verstappen dream team at Mercedes is not a temptation for him.

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